Academics

Our goal in the Lower School (Grades 3–5) is to give every boy the tools he needs to learn, develop self-confidence, and begin to find the things he is passionate about.

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Our class sizes are small so you receive plenty of personal attention and get to know your teacher and classmates well. Thanks to Landon School’s eight-day class cycle, you take subjects at different times each day so you are energetic and focused. And daily recess, daily sports and a twice-a-cycle physical education periods help you relax and concentrate during class.

In Grade 3, you will have one teacher for the main subjects (language arts, math, science and social studies), but also move around campus independently to attend art classes, perform experiments in the science lab, and enjoy music classes and play practice. All of these classes are in big spaces in different buildings from the Lower School. In Grades 4 and 5, you will have different teachers for language arts, math, reading, science, social studies and Spanish (which you take twice in an eight-day cycle).

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You will also take a technology class to learn online safety and skills, how to use technology to complete classroom projects, and more advanced (and exciting) skills, such as how to write computer code, how to use a 3-D printer, and even how to program robots like BB-8 in Star Wars! Grade 5 Language Arts students explore making good choices in their annual TED Landon video project.

Some of our other hands-on curricular projects include learning about black history month through "book tastings," and building bridges from spaghetti to test basic engineering skills.

Off-campus field trips — including a visit to the National Gallery of Art, a barge ride down the historic C&O Canal, and a book reading at Politics & Prose by one of your favorite authors — are fun, exciting ways to learn outside the classroom.

Grade 3

Language Arts/Writing

You will learn and practice writing and public speaking skills. In Grade 3, you will focus on learning proper punctuation, writing complete sentences, paragraph construction, word choice, and creating an outline.

Math

In Grade 3, you will develop a solid understanding of whole numbers through addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. You will be introduced to fractions, decimals, graphs, perimeters and measurements, as well as mathematical signs, symbols and terms. And you will learn to investigate mathematical ideas, discover patterns, and explore ways to solve problems.

Reading

Students are grouped with classmates who read at a similar level and tackle everything from textbooks to titles by exciting young-adult authors. As part of our Reader’s Workshop, teachers give presentations on specific skills and then help boys apply those skills to the books they are reading. A 15-minute independent reading period (BEAR: “Be Enthusiastic About Reading”) follows sports each day to give you a chance to relax and delve into the pages of the book of your choice. On-campus author visits and field trips to Politics & Prose allow you to meet and talk with some of the writers who produce the books you love.

Science

Third graders develop a love and appreciation for nature through growing plants and caring for classroom pets in the Lower School science lab. You will study biology and chemistry and get to participate in fun, hands-on experiments where you will classify animals, monitor invertebrate behavior, study acids and bases, and work to solve scientific mysteries.

Social Studies

Grade 3 social studies class focuses on the geography and history of Maryland and how it fits into the larger picture of our country’s history. Field trips bring the learning to life: You will visit Annapolis to tour our state capital, explore a 19th-century factory in Baltimore to learn about the Industrial Revolution, and ride a barge down Washington, D.C.’s historic C&O Canal.

Grade 4

Language Arts/Writing

You will learn and practice writing and public speaking skills. In Grade 4, you will focus on learning proper punctuation, writing complete sentences, paragraph construction, word choice, and creating an outline.

Math

Your Grade 4 math instruction builds on your knowledge of whole numbers, fractions and decimals so that you can add, subtract, multiply and divide whole numbers, and add and subtract fractions and decimals.

Reading

Students are grouped with classmates who read at a similar level and tackle everything from textbooks to titles by exciting young-adult authors. As part of our Reader’s Workshop, teachers give presentations about specific skills and then help boys apply those skills to the books they are reading. A 15-minute independent reading period (BEAR: “Be Enthusiastic About Reading”) follows sports each day to give you a chance to relax and delve into the pages of the book of your choice. On-campus author visits and field trips to Politics & Prose allow you to meet and talk with some of the writers who produce the books you love.

Science

In Grade 4, units focus on biology, chemistry and physics. You will learn about experimental design, consumer science, nutrition, food webs and small mammal anatomy (you will dissect owl pellets!), fossils, minerals, and electricity.

Social Studies

How did we become the population we are on the continent we inhabit? This is the main question you will explore in Grade 4 social studies, as you study the many different backgrounds Americans come from and how that shapes our culture. You will study the influences of indigenous peoples, Europeans, Asians and Africans in shaping the United States. 

Spanish

Grade 4 students are introduced to the Spanish language in a fun, relaxed environment. You will learn common vocabulary words and basic verb usage through games and conversations with your teacher and classmates.

Grade 5

Language Arts/Writing

You will learn and practice writing and public speaking skills. By Grade 5, you will have learned how to use proper punctuation, write in complete sentences, construct paragraphs, choose proper words to express your meaning, and create an outline. At this point, you are given greater freedom to produce written documents and edit your own work.

Math

In Grade 5, your understanding of whole numbers, fractions and decimals is reinforced, while problem-solving and applying what you know become the focus. You will tackle open-ended problems, learn to work collaboratively, and explore ratio and percent, geometry, statistics and probability.

Reading

Students are grouped with classmates who read at a similar level and tackle everything from textbooks to titles by exciting young-adult authors. As part of our Reader’s Workshop, teachers give presentations to on specific skills and then help boys apply those skills to the books they are reading. A 15-minute independent reading period (BEAR: “Be Enthusiastic About Reading”) follows sports each day to give you a chance to relax and delve into the pages of the book of your choice. On-campus author visits and field trips to Politics & Prose allow you to meet and talk with some of the writers who produce the books you love.

Science

In Grade 5, your studies will focus on chemistry and physics, with additional units on biology and health. Through lab work and teacher instruction, you will come to understand important concepts in physical science, such as density, color, light, vision, work, simple machines (you will invent your own!) and matter, as well as a unit on drug abuse prevention.

Social Studies

With the study of Maryland (Grade 3) and understanding of cultural influences (Grade 4) under your belt, in Grade 5 you will use Joyce Hakim’s The History of US series of books to begin your study of United States history at the point of European colonization through the buildup to the Civil War. You will look at different historical events from the points of view of minorities, women and children to gain a deeper understanding — and you will teach your classmates about these points of view through project presentations.

Spanish

Students in Grade 5 continue to learn the Spanish language in a fun, relaxed environment. Your vocabulary and verb usage expand as you prepare you for more in-depth language study in the Middle School.

Lower School Calendar

    News

    Upper School Parenting Class

    This blog post is written by Upper School Counselor Richard Curtis, who recently led a free, six-week class on parenting for members of our community. Curtis explains why “Active Parenting of Teens” was an opportunity for parents to learn from and share with each other what works for them and what doesn’t during the teenage years.

    Student giving his "This I Believe" speech

    Every Form II (Grade 8) student at Landon must conceive, write, and present a speech each year to the Middle School community. This capstone project, known as “This I Believe,” allows boys to not only reflect on an experience that shaped their lives, but also to learn the value of being vulnerable in front of others and the skills of persuasive writing and public speaking.   

    Students participate in "Hour of Code"

    Landon’s Lower School is participating in the Hour of Code event held annually to coincide with Computer Science Education Week. One unique part of the Landon experience is that Upper School students are helping the youngest Bears learn coding.